Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Clean Bathroom in 15 Minutes or Less

To be fair, this excludes the shower.  The shower doesn't always need to be cleaned.  As for the rest of it, each one of the little tasks below should take no more than a minute or two each and there aren't that many of them.

You will need...

1 toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner
Glass cleaner
A few paper towels or a bathroom sponge (only used in the bathroom)
Disinfectant wipes
Baking soda or Barkeeper's Friend
Swiffer or vacuum
Trash bags
Gloves (I like disposable, non-sterile med exam gloves that are cheap at Costco)

Put on your gloves.  Pour toilet bowl cleaner over the toilet bowl so it has a chance to start.  Dampen a paper towel or sponge and pour a little baking soda or Barkeeper's Friend on it.  Use it to polish the sink and sink area.  Rinse.  Spray a little glass cleaner on a new paper towel and polish the mirror.  This should take 30 seconds to a minute. Pull out a disinfectant wipe and wipe down the light switches, the door handles, and the counter.  Throw it away.

Grab another one and use it to wipe down the toilet handle, the top of the toilet, the toilet lid (both sides) and outside of toilet.  You will probably need one more for the seat (both sides) and rim of toilet.  Toss it.  If there are men in the house, it pays to give extra attention to the whole perimeter of the toilet and the floor around it.  I'm not kidding, check the wall.  If there is stray urine anywhere, the smell really comes out with the steam from the shower and makes it smell like a public restroom...or worse, a bachelor pad!  Use your toilet bowl brush to scrub the toilet bowl.  Flush placing the brush in the stream of clean water.  Swish the brush and give the whole thing one last quick scrub.  Flush again.  Tap the brush handle on the edge of the toilet to shake excess water into the bowl (do this gently unless you want to wear it).  Replace the brush in it's holder.  Remove your gloves inside out and throw them away.

Shake out or replace your rugs and towels.  Vacuum or Swiffer the floor.  (If your floor is actually dirty, wipe it down with one of the disinfectant wipes.  You can do this quickly on your hands and knees or you can attach it to your Swiffer.  Remove the trash bag.  Done.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  When you replace your trash bag, layer two or three.  This is a good idea for the kitchen as well.  If you have a hole in the bag or something especially messy, this avoids spills.  Otherwise, it just means you don't have to put in a new bag as often.


About once a month it's a good idea to run a cloth over the baseboards if you have them.

About the shower...  I personally hate cleaning the shower.  If it's just me, it can be done once a month or less.  If there are other people around, it seems to need to be done all the time.  I avoid needing to clean the shower by not getting it dirty.  This may seem obvious, but it requires a little attention to detail.  I'm in the habit of closing all my bottles after using them and rinsing them for a split second before I replace them.  This avoids the leaky shampoo thing.  Having something that drains (like a shower caddy) to hold all of your bottles/soaps will avoid leaving moldy rings on the edge of your tub.  I try to place as much of my loose hair as possible on the wall in the shower.  When I step out, I just swirl it and throw it in the trash.  I have long hair but my drain very rarely gets clogged and I have no screen.  If I get dirt (now mud) on the shower floor from walking barefoot, I rub it out immediately with my feet.  This gets it out of the texture of my tub before it gets a chance to settle and require scrubbing.  I hate scrubbing.  Last thing is that I splash a little water over the shower wall and curtain at the end of my shower to remove any stray soap suds that had planned to dry there.  These habits are not much different than clicking my seat belt and checking my mirrors before I drive.  They are automatic and they save me a lot of trouble.

When I do clean the shower, I usually clean it the same way I clean the sink, using an old plastic container to rinse the walls if I don't have a removable shower head.

Anyway, time yourself.  You can definitely get this whole task done much faster than you thought if you have a plan and make it happen.  Fifteen minutes or less isn't all that intimidating.


  1. Thank you, again. This method does sound like it generates a very great deal of trash, though. I don't throw away gloves after each use, don't use wipes (sponges and baking soda/vinegar solution/other cleaning items it is), and the germs still haven't killed me. ;)

  2. You're right, the germs probably won't kill you. ;) I like to be clean about the bathroom though, especially since a lot of people come through the one I use. It doesn't get cleaned very often when it's just me, so I don't worry too much about the trash piling up. To be fair, though, it's less trash than is associated with one meal at a fast food place. Now THAT'S gross.

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